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IGTV and Youtube: differences and similarities between the two platforms

It's been just over a month since Instagram launched its own video sharing platform. By this time, most content producers will have already tried the new functionality or at least consumed some content produced by third parties.

The great news that enthused many people was the possibility of sharing longer videos - in this case, 60 minutes -, competing with Youtube. However, while demonstrating some similarities, the two platforms have different proposals, which we will address next.


Firstly, both IGTV and Youtube have their own Android and iOS applications. Youtube’s mobile application is an adaptation of the desktop version, having all the functionalities that the website has. IGTV can be accessed through the Instagram app but also has an independent application, allowing both platforms to publish and visualize videos.

However, the big difference between the two is that IGTV has a unique app feed and it is not possible to consume videos uploaded on a PC.

Time limit

At IGTV, the average user can upload videos up to 10 minutes and certified accounts up to 60 minutes. For YouTube, the maximum length of a standard user video is 15 minutes and 12 hours for certified accounts.


Youtube offers some monetization options, mainly through advertising during the published videos, among others. IGTV has no monetization, and CEO Kevin Systrom said during the IGTV release that there is no rush to include ads in the app, but the possibility has not been completely dismissed.


Youtube accepts videos shot in the vertical and horizontal format. However, as it was designed for mobile devices, IGTV only allows videos in vertical format and in a minimum ratio of 4: 5 and a maximum of 9:16.

This is a very interesting move from Instagram since vertical format videos are much more consumed than the ones in horizontal format. Thus, content producers deliver content as it will be consumed, avoiding the black sidebars that annoy so many users who consume video on the internet.

All in one app

Youtube remains true to its genesis of a video repository. Although nowadays allowing more interaction between users, sharing on other social media, among others, Youtube remains quite true to its principle. In turn, Instagram began as a platform for photo sharing. Nowadays, it became a multipurpose platform that has its own chat and "Stories" that practically dethroned Snapchat. Thus, IGTV is yet another step towards having multiple content formats concentrated in one application, making it one of the most complete applications today.

To conclude, despite the similarities, YouTube and IGTV have quite different proposals. YouTube is a much more mature platform and a reference for video content but has too many options and features. IGTV is totally focused on smartphones, the central tool of our day-to-day.

Only time will tell if IGTV will have the expected success, surpassing other platforms, like YouTube.

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